Hitman Now a Proper Episodic Game; Collector's Edition Confirmed

Initial launch content now spread over three months, with more coming through the end of the year.

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Despite an insistence that Hitman would be a full game at launch, Square Enix and Io Interactive are now embracing what the new Hitman already appeared to be, as they announced today that the game will be "fully episodic."

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The game will be split into episodes that are released over the course of the year. The prologue and first mission are still planned for released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 11, but the other content previously promised for launch--the Italy and Morocco missions--are now coming later. The Italy mission will be released in April, followed by Morocco in May.

Beyond that, Io has plans for "regular monthly content updates" through the end of 2016. Some of these will introduce new settings, with three in total planned: Thailand, the United States, and Japan. In addition to missions set there, Io says it'll offer weekly live events and other content in between the larger monthly releases.

"We decided to take the full leap and publish Hitman as a truly episodic game experience," Io boss Hannes Seifert said in a statement. "Part of that decision is for that little bit of extra time to ensure every location we release is at the quality level fitting for a Hitman game. But the main driving reason is that this will allow us to create a living game that will expand and evolve over time and establish a foundation for the future--this is the first game in a storyline which will continue and expand with future Hitman games."

Hitman will still be released initially as a digital game, with a disc-based version coming at the end of the year. The full digital version will cost $60 (£44.99), or you can purchase the prologue and Paris mission, known as the Intro Pack, for $15 (£11.59). Latter locations can then be bought for $10 (£7.99) each, or you can add on everything else for $50 (£36.99).

There's also a set of PS4-exclusive content in the form of The Sarajevo Six. This consists of six additional missions, one set in each of the game's locations. Io describes this as a "self-contained side story" that "sees Agent 47 travel the world in pursuit of six former members of a paramilitary unit called CICADA."

A beta is still planned to take in place ahead of launch in February. PS4 players will get access on February 12, while those on PC will get it on February 19. Among other ways, beta access is guaranteed by preordering either the Intro Pack or purchasing the full game.

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Finally, Io confirmed the details of a collector's edition, which was designed using fan feedback. It'll be available on March 11 alongside the Intro pack and consists of a digital copy of the full game, a 10-inch Agent 47 statue, an art book, and a tie and clip set. It'll cost $140.

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